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Wastewater EPA infractions could cost Ottoville thousands PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 8:12 PM


dhi MEDIA Staff Writer

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OTTOVILLE — Board of Public Affairs members Phil Hilvers and Dan Honigford reported the sewer treatment plant (wastewater) is running at 84 percent and they have not pinpointed a specific area or areas where excessive water is coming into the sanitary lines during Monday night’s village council meeting.

Mayor Ron Miller said the village needs to get that number down to 50 percent or lower and isolate where the water is getting into the sanitary. He added that some sump pumps are still tapped into the sanitary.


“We have to do something or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is going to start fining us,” Hilvers said.


“Steve (Wittler, Water Treatment Plant Manager) said if we were being fined for infractions, this year we would be up to $120,000,” Honigford explained.

“After it rains, it (the water flow meter) spikes and we have not isolated any area,” Hilvers said. “We have to get it moved to see if we can get some readings.”

Fiscal Officer Jeanne Wannemacher said the village passed an ordinance to get Auglaize Street residents’ sump pumps out of the sanitary sewers.

“We’ll send out individual letters to each resident who is tapped into sanitary,” Wannemacher said.

Hilvers also reported sludge removal costs for last year were $9,000 and last quarter it was $3,200.

“The price went up since gas prices went up,” He explained.

He also said the roof at the sewer plant has been leaking. One estimate from Knippen Roofing & Construction was for $10,000 and Frost Roofing suggested patching, not replacing. Hilvers said a couple guys could have the work done in short order.

Another ongoing issue is the heat and humidity levels inside the building, which can have detrimental effects on calibration equipment.

Miller and all council members agreed to inspect the air conditioning requirements and either remove the existing unit and install one that can handle the environmental concerns or purchase and install an additional unit.

Councilman Tony Langhals asked Miller if he has heard any news about Dollar General’s plans or spoke with John Schimmoeller of Schimmoeller Construction in Kalida, the property owner where Dollar General may be building a store.

“I have not talked with anyone about the project,” Miller said.

“I think someone should reach out to Dollar General and talk with them and see what the status is. There is so much controversy and we need to open the lines of communication,” Langhals said.

Langhals then asked each council member if they thought there was a better potential place for the Dollar General store. The majority said yes.

Council members Randy Altenburger and Jerry Markward said other locations were discussed and Dollar General’s corporate office looked at other locations.

“That was information through Schimmoeller’s lawyer, though,” Langhals said.

“The building could go on the other side of John’s property, further out of sight,” Markward said.

“I did not want to call them without getting council’s thoughts,” Langhals said. “I will represent council and just want to know where things stand and if they are open to other options.”

Council members discussed tree removal and crack filling of the roads with Street Supervisor Barry Koester, who has not had time to work on those projects. They also asked Koester if he received any estimates for the more extensive road work — grinding and re-paving of Fifth, Canal and Walt streets.

“That’s what they are quoting,” Koester said. “I’m waiting on Bluffton to look at the project and give a quote and I have Ward’s quote already.”

Koester said he wanted to get a plan together for next year for whatever road work does not get completed this year.

Council members approved an ordinance for storm sewer taps and the resolution for the renewal of the 1.30-mill tax for current expenses. In addition, members approved the extended warranty contract from Miller Contracting for the Auglaize Street project.

The next village meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on June 23 in the municipal building.

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 1:30 PM

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